The following article has been submitted to The Hamiltonian, by Brian Hatch. Your comments are welcome.
I was very discouraged and disappointed when I watched the interview of Mayor Bob Bratina by CBC Executive Producer Roger Gillespie posted on cbc.ca/hamilton on May18, 2012.
During the interview called, “17 Minutes with Mayor Bob Bratina”, Mayor Bratina makes the following disturbing comments about being the first mayor in the history of Hamilton to be censured by council:
At 6:48 into the interview the mayor is asked: “How do you explain that you were censured by city council?” His answer: “I can’t. If you asked me what the censure was, I’m not sure I could tell you.”
Later in the interview Bratina was asked if he could have “managed that conflict” better. During his reply
Bratina states: “For me to show the city the realities of the politics I have to expose myself to things like censure from a group who I don’t think can accurately define what the censure was.” Bratina then goes on to state that he talked to several of the councillors after the meeting and asked one. “Why did you do that?” According to Bratina that councillor’s answer was very vague at best: “Oh you know because you kept bringing it up. All this business of salary and so on.”
I am disappointed because Mayor Bratina still proclaims he does not know why council censured him. Perhaps there is a “failure to communicate” between council and the mayor?
I am discouraged because based of Bratina’s second comment when he states he believes that none of the “group” (council) can “accurately define what the censure was.”
To you (my) Councillor Ferguson and to you Councillors Whitehead and Partridge on the Accountability and Transparency Sub-committee and to you Councillor Merulla who put forth the motion to censure and to you Councillor Collins who seconded the motion to censure and to the remaining Councillors who voted unanimously to censure Mayor Bratina my question is: Can you “accurately define” why you voted for censure? Based on the manner the motion was dealt with in council on Mar. the 28th I know your decision was not made lightly. I know each of you gave the motion considerable thought.
Our Mayor, your leader, has stated you are not able to articulate why you voted for the motion to censure him. Can you? Or perhaps more importantly will you? Why exactly did you Councilor(s) vote for censure?
I truly believe Mayor Bratina still does not appreciate how inappropriate/offensive his actions were and are.
I would also urge all readers to view the entire interview at cbc.ca because there are two additional bizarre segments.
The first is at 9:25 into the interview when he talks about the Ali vs. Foreman fight and the rope-a-dope tactic used by Ali. Ali was on the ropes for most of the fight but in the end Ali was still standing and Foreman was on the canvas. Mayor “Ali” (aka Bob) is on the ropes and taking a pounding. I think in this case Mayor Bob thinks we are the “dope(s)” (aka Foreman). We will all have to wait until the election in 2014 to see who is still standing and who is on the floor.
The second is at 10:55 into the interview when the mayor talks about other councillors who “were convicted of things”, “leaked confidential information”, and “did not disclose conflicts.” Is the mayor really suggesting that because others have behaved badly in the past that he should not be held accountable now?